European Association for Jewish Culture



European Association for Jewish Culture 

Spring-Summer 2002

First grants awarded for Jewish culture

Performances and exhibitions of new works have met with critical acclaim in Budapest, Copenhagen and Sofia, while dozens of other projects are underway following the first annual round of grants by the European Association for Jewish Culture.

Launched in May 2001 with the support of the EC Culture 2000 Programme, the European Association for Jewish Culture is an independent grant-making body. Its mission is to enhance Jewish life by supporting artistic creativity and achievement, and promoting access to Jewish culture in Europe.

At the heart of the Association's programmes is the affirmation that Jewish culture is a living heritage with immense creative potential and that Jewish creativity is a key to the Jewish future.

A catalyst for Jewish culture
The grants were conceived as a catalyst for the creation of new work and the development of new audiences. The grant conditions were designed specifically to encourage entrepreneurship: artists are invited to set up collaborations with theatre companies, galleries and other cultural venues, and well-developed marketing plans must be submitted.

Based in London and Paris, the Association operates largely on the Internet. All the information, including application guidelines and forms, can be downloaded from its website.

The first grants were announced earlier this year after a lengthy review by experts. They range in value from 3,000-10,000 and have been awarded to artists and projects in twelve European countries, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

In all, 33 grants have been awarded in the following areas:
bullet Performing arts: new works for the stage (plays and choreographies) linked to a performance;
bullet Visual arts: exhibitions of painting, sculpture, photography, installations and video art;
bullet Media: grants to Jewish periodicals for special issues on culture, or for the publication of translated articles, essays and short stories.

Re-emergence of Central European Jewry
News of the grant-giving foundation generated much interest that has been welcomed by the Association's directors. 'It's significant that the number of grants going to Hungary has been matched only by awards in France and the UK', said Lena Stanley-Clamp, EAJC Director in London. This tells us that Budapest has re-emerged as an important centre of Jewish cultural life.'

'Moreover', said Jean-Jacques Wahl, Secretary of the Association based in Paris, 'the fact that artists emerged from a broad range of countries is a clear indication that throughout Europe people are choosing to give expression to Jewish identity through the creative process.'

Selected from scores of applications, the 33 grants 'demonstrate that it is possible to recruit a new generation of cultural producers from among European Jews', said EAJC Treasurer Barry Kosmin.

Jewish culture travels well
The awards recognize that Jewish culture transcends national borders. Plans are afoot for a number of grant-supported projects to be shown in European countries other than where they originated.

Newsletter Home/First grants awarded for Jewish culture/
Ghetto: a life-affirming new ballet/Jingele o Maidele: a dance allegory/Personal perspectives/The Golem comes to life on a Budapest stage/Introducing the grant winners/ Calendar of performances and exhibitions/Grants for 2003

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